Aboriginal Healing, Historical Trauma
"How many times have you heard, 'What is WRONG with that person?' There is nothing wrong with that person, things are HAPPENING or have HAPPENED to that person." Dr Carlie Atkinson
Mitakuye Oyasin" (We Are All Related) is a short documentary that sheds a light on the problems facing the noble people of the Great Sioux Nation. Filmed in the Badlands of South Dakota and on the Sioux Reservations, this documentary focuses on the reintroduction of the once indigenous wild horses to the lands of the Great Sioux.
What is Sharing Culture?
Sharing Culture is a unique human rights initiative to help Indigenous peoples heal from historical trauma and its consequences (e.g. mental health problems, addiction, suicide), as well as the impact of other adversities, e.g. social and economic disadvantage, experiences of paternalism and racism, and ongoing grief.
Sharing Culture is being developed by David Clark, an Emeritus Professor of Psychology, in close collaboration with filmmaker Michael Liu. They are supported by an international network of 40 Advisors/Healers, the vast majority of whom are world-leading experts in their respective fields.
Sharing Culture is based on the core values of authenticity, connection, courage, creativity, empathy and forgiveness. We adopt a strengths-based, solution-focused approach that celebrates success and cultivates positivity, acceptance and cultural pride. In addition, we use principles known to facilitate healing.
Sharing Culture is building educational and storytelling resources that (1) empower Indigenous people to heal, (2) help create environments in which healing can flourish, and (3) reduce barriers to healing (e.g. racism, paternalism) in wider society.
This website uses Indigenous voices to help educate society about trauma and its impact, as well as Indigenous healing and culture. You can read or watch Healing Stories. David blogs on the website.
The Foundation of Our Approach
Sharing Culture recognises that healing from trauma (and its consequences) requires empowerment and connection, and a culturally safe environment. Indigenous people must connect to their culture, land, spirituality, family, community and history to facilitate healing.
Self-determinism is the central foundation of healing. Indigenous communities, families and individuals must own and control their healing process. An holistic approach to health and wellbeing is key, one which incorporates the physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, social and environmental.
Personal and Community Healing Stories empower people by providing hope, understanding and a sense of belonging. Stories of healing initiatives help communities learn from each other, whilst Cultural Stories engender pride and facilitate cultural connectedness.
Indigenous and non-Indigenous people must come together to facilitate the healing of Indigenous people. Indigenous knowledge and understanding is key to helping create a society where people have an improved wellness, are more environmentally aware, and are more respectful, caring and empathic towards their fellow man, no matter what his or her culture.
Why not take a Website Tour? Please check About Us and our Testimonials. And our Facebook page for links to other important information. Finally, please read the beautiful, inspiring letter that David received from Rembarrgna traditional healer Miliwanga Wurrben.
This documentary DVD was produced in 1997 and forms part of the Bringing them home education resource for use in Australian classrooms. This resource is based on Bringing them home, the report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families, and on the history of forcible separation and other policies which have impacted on the lives of Indigenous Australians.
Cultural Education Introduced in Katherine Primary School
"I hope that this experience opens the door for more Traditional Learning opportunities and that someday in the near future, the value of traditional cultural education across Australia, as taught by Elders in the community, is recognised, valued and funded, for all our children now and in to the future." Pip Gordon
Top Blog Postings
‘The Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Part 1, Answering a Call from the Northern Territory of Australia’
At Sharing Culture, we intend to focus on solutions. And we intend to focus on the strengths, assets and gifts of Indigenous peoples. They are amazing peoples with incredible resiliency - otherwise, how on earth have they survived what the colonisers have thrown at them over hundreds of years. And still do today.
The Impact of Colonialism on a Young Aboriginal Australian
However, both took a joy-ride that led to their being taken out of the family and placed into a system that managed Aboriginal people, because it viewed their culture and Aboriginality as inferior, and requiring of alteration - even eradication.
Recommended book - 'The Intervention: An anthology' by Rosie Scott and Dr Anita Heiss
In this historic anthology, award-winning writers Rosie Scott and Dr Anita Heiss have gathered together the work of twenty of Australian’s finest writers both Indigenous and non-Indigenous together with powerful statements from Northern Territory Elders to bring a new dimension and urgency to an issue that has remained largely outside the public radar.
'How To Hold Space Instead of Fixing People' by Dina Strada
Try to withhold from telling people what will work for them or how to fix their problem. Allow them to talk it through until they uncover their own truths. It’s way more meaningful and powerful for them when they can discover what is authentic for them on their own instead of being told what to do.
Negative impact of colonisation on Indigenous culture and lifestyles
Fractured relationships led to lost opportunities to learn how to be a father, husband, son, etc. and lost opportunities to share that wisdom with their family and young people in the community. They lost the opportunity to observe and learn from Elders so they could pass on ways of conducting oneself in relationships that fostered meaningful connection rather than just control.
Relationships, Connection and Healing from Trauma
As a result, recovery from trauma and neglect is also all about relationships - rebuilding trust, regaining confidence, returning to a sense of security and reconnecting to love… But healing and recovery are impossible - even with the best medications and therapy in the world - without lasting connections to others.
The Kimberley: Like Nowhere Else On Earth. Help Protect It.
Understanding Indigenous Wellbeing
Indigenous people have a holistic view of health and wellbeing that incorporates the physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, social and environmental. It does not just focus on the individual, but also on the health and wellbeing of the community.
Recovery Stories: 'sister' website
Tim’s Story: ‘Doctor in Recovery’
As Tim found out, having a medical degree offers no protection against addiction, nor from the hard work that is required to change oneself as a key part of the recovery journey.
‘A journey toward recovery: From the inside out’ by Dale Walsh
People want to be able to make their own choices about their own lives. They want to be seen, heard, and taken seriously. They want to be part of the decision making which so deeply affects their everyday experiences. This taking back of power and being taken seriously are both necessary components of recovery.